By Leah Malimbasa MANA
President Lazarus Chakwera has launched Katunga-Maseya (KAMA) Cane-growers Cooperative Mega Farm which covers 1, 069 hectares in Chikwawa district.
Under the KAMA Cooperative Mega Farm two, 193 members from the areas of Traditional Authorities Katunga and Maseya, are expected to benefit from commercial and mechanised farming.
Speaking during the launch on Tuesday, Chakwera said the newly launched project will play a big role in ending poverty as well as achieving food security adding there is need for small countries like Malawi to defend their ideas and vision whenever they face opposition.
“As we are launching initiatives such as mega farms, agriculture commercialisation and mechanisation, other bigger nations do not understand or agree with our vision, so we should choose to be brave and show what we are capable of doing,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera further called for people to celebrate their success and start producing more.
“We are called an agro-based economy yet we produce so little. We need to produce more and export more. Today we are launching a cooperative that is creating hundreds of jobs, this shows we are serious about agricultural commercialisation and that is why we are putting in K5.3 billion into KAMA Cooperative as a grant,” he said.
The president then commended World Bank for their support through Agricultural commercialisation (AGCOM) project following an announcement from the bank that they have approved Agcom 2.
Chakwera then urged KAMA Cooperative to utilise the grant well in order to achieve the desired results.
KAMA Cooperative Chairperson Collins Ntalika pledged to utilise the grant and commended the President for his dedication towards transforming the country through mega farms.
Board Chairperson for Presscane Limited, Dr Paul Guta described the partnership between the cooperative and Presscane Limited as beneficial since the cooperative will be supplying sugarcane which the producer will be using to produce ethanol and other products.
“The raw materials we get are not enough, so we resort to import additional raw materials from neighbouring countries. Sugarcane we will be getting from the KAMA Cooperative will help us to produce more ethanol and other by- products like biogas which will be used to produce electricity and organic fertilizer,” said Guta.